The Cheyenne and Arapaho Ordeal: Reservation and Agency Life in the Indian Territory, 1875-1907
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
xv+420pp with illustrations and maps. Octavo (8 3/4" x 6") issued in black with grey and white lettering to spine. Pictorial white and black dust jacket. 1st edition.
This work recounts the reservation period of the Cheyenne and the Arapahos in western Oklahoma and the following fifteen years. It is an investigation-and an indictment-of the assimilation and reservations policies thrust upon them in the latter half of the nineteenth century, policies that succeeded only in doing enormous damage to a sturdy, vital people. Confined to a reservation in the Indian Territory in 1875, the Southern Cheyenne and their neighbors, the Arapahos, traditionally hunting and mobile societies, were forced into the federal government's image of "educated, Christian farmer-citizens." Lacking the support of adequate appropriations or protective legislation, the Cheyenne’s' lives were dominated by hunger, disease and despair. Continuing niggardliness on the part of Congress in providing adequate agricultural equipment and instruction and an environment hostile to cultivation made agricultural self-sufficiency all but impossible. The continued reduction of their land base through allotments under the 1887 Dawes Act and later leasing and sale of land to whites further eroded the Indians' meager sources of income and security. An educational policy that left Cheyenne children without hope of jobs, the banning of traditional religious ceremonies, the prejudice of white citizens and institutions, and the undermining of the roles of head men and medicine men led to further despair. But, as the author demonstrates, despite these crushing burdens and in the face of slow and inevitable changes in the society, the Southern Cheyenne retained their identity, a testimony to their courage and character. This well-documented, compassionate account of the ordeal of the two tribes serves as a classic example of what happened to America's Indians at the hands of the whites. This is volume 136 in the Civilization of the American Indian Series.
Some light foxing to head end pages. Dust jacket lightly foxed at fold over edge, price clipped. Over all a very good to fine copy in a near fine dust jacket.
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